Inspired by his surroundings and the people that dwell within them, Frans Bak is focusing his evocative powers on the wider elements of his home region, touchingly capturing its unique spirit and affecting atmosphere with a series of new compositions. The celebrated Danish composer will reveal the first Sound Of North album June 17 via Mercury Classics/Universal Music Canada. This new, personal work from the Dane attempts to communicate the mood of his north, both geographically and philosophically.
“I really wanted to capture the Sound Of North because we have something up here that’s a little different: a coolness, a calmness, a mindfulness,”
The Royal Danish Academy Of Music graduate has crafted an album of a truly intimate nature. Sound Of North’s 11 tracks reflect this outlook as freed from actor’s lines, screen cuts or, in the case of his Nordic Noir work, (fictional) murder.
Recording the album, Bak adopted an open approach, partly inspired by his background as a jazz composer. Meshing together a string quartet with electronic loops, the ethereal vocals of singer Josefine Cronholm and his own piano playing to create an adventurous, forward-thinking work. While also mixing new compositions alongside re-imagined versions of themes he scored for the US and Danish versions of The Killing and Doctor Foster.
“Some of these pieces I’ve returned to after eight years and I was able to revisit the music and find new ways into it,” he explains. “What was really satisfying was the chance to give the music the space it needed and wanted, the time that wasn’t there for it on screen. When you do a soundtrack you’re only one part of the story-telling process. With this record the music was the whole story.”
Sound Of North will be debuted live with a special performance this Friday, April 29, at Spot Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. Here Bak and his band will collaborate on-stage with video and light artists to create an immersive experience. The composer explains he believes this work will be just his first step in charting the North’s sound.
“For me this is only the first chapter, I see it’s an on going work,” he says of Sound Of North’s scope. “I travelled to places like Greenland and got really inspired. There’s a lot of space out there and I hope people find that in the music. With no limits anything can happen.”